When I reflect on my six years in the natural hair game, I can never quite get over the fact that it would take me 4-5 hours to wash, detangle, and twist up my 4 inches of hair while I was in college. The number of movie nights, study sessions, and hours of sleep that I had to turn down because I was doing my hair… I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.
The thing is, letting your hair get in the way of your life is not a joke! All day long wash days really need to be filed under the list of things nobody has time for (including broken nails, unknown numbers calling 3-4 times in a row without leaving a message, single strand knots, and Becky with the good hair).
Because I’ve perfected the super quick wash day life – largely due to necessity because I always leave things to the last minute – I figured I would share with you how you can wash and style your hair in less than two hours. I’ve shared some tips about a one hour wash day before, but those only included the actual wash, rinse, and detangle, but no styling. The method below includes a style that is outdoors friendly (as in you can leave the house), AND will set you up for a week of bomb hair, by starting with a cowash.
Wet your hair and add conditioner (20 minutes)
To start off, get your behind in the shower, wet your hair, and put tons of conditioner on it. If your hair is longer than shoulder length (when stretched), it’s advisable to section your hair to limit tangling, so use clips to section it into 4-6 sections. Take the balls of your fingertips and massage your scalp to loosen up any dirt. With the rest of the 20 minutes, go on about your business in the shower.
Detangle your hair (20 minutes)
We used lots of conditioner to help cut our detangling time down drastically, but while still in the shower, break down each section into two if needed, and finger comb and wide tooth comb your hair until it is reasonably detangled. I say reasonably because I’m a strong believer that you can’t get every single knot out, and that it doesn’t even benefit you to do so – so just detangle your hair to the point where your fingers can kind of glide through. Use the shower stream to your advantage by letting it quickly glide over your hair, which helps loosen tangles. After you’ve done each section, braid or twist it back up and clip it away.
Sidebar: I used to finger detangle exclusively, but since I colored my hair last year, I’ve been using combs. The choice is personal.
Edit: And now I’m back to mostly finger detangling! Here’s how.
Rinse and dry (20 minutes)
Once you’re done detangling, rinse out all the conditioner for several minutes to really ensure you’ve got it all out. Squeeze out the excess water with your hand and then use a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry your hair while you lotion up, get dressed, and do whatever else you need to do for a few minutes.
Moisturize & Style (30 minutes)
To moisturize, choose a thick and creamy leave-in/styler combination like the Original Moxie Lux Locks, and seal it in with an oil – I used the Entwine Couture Argan Oil that I reviewed in this post. You can style your hair however you like, but I chose to do a braid/twist/bantu combination that would prep my hair for a curly our style. For extra oomph, I added a styling agent, the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti Shrinkage Easy Twist Gel N Butter, and then broke my hair into smaller sections and began to set it. I braided each section halfway down, then turned the braid into a twist, and then knotted the ends (not like a rope, like a bantu knot!) so they wouldn’t unravel. Once I was done with my whole head, I threw on a hat and looked appropriate enough to walk outside and head to the airport! If I had fixed up my face a little bit, I would have felt comfortable enough going to meet up friends for dinner, and with some heels, I would’ve been ready for a house party.
Be Fierce! (several days)
Chile this braid, twist, bantu combo thing had my hair poppin on the first day. I have never ever ever styled my hair wet and had so much volume, length, and definition. I definitely need to do a separate video on that technique so you can see it properly, but honey get your life and get into this braid twist bantu thing, just trust me! The style can definitely get you through at least 4 days without retwisting, but if you restyle it, you can get up to a week’s worth of the look, all after just one hour!
For the Visual Learners
If you want to see this 1.5 hour wash & style day in action, check out my video below: